Politics, government and public life for Southern California

City of Los Angeles hopes to establish citywide Internet access

To go with AFP story by Dan Martin: LIFE


Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield wants to connect the entire city to the Internet but doing so will take billions of dollars and several years to complete.

Thirty percent of L.A. residents can't access the Internet via a high-speed connection and one city councilman wants to change that — but doing so will take years and cost billions of dollars. 

Los Angeles City Councilman Bob Blumenfield announced Monday the city will spend the next month seeking input from vendors and industry experts on how the city can bring wired and wireless broadband Internet to homes and businesses.

In the next three to six months, Internet providers may have a chance to bid on a contract to wire the city. 

"This is important in order to maintain global competitiveness," Blumenfield said at a Monday morning news conference.  "The Internet has become as essential a utility as water, power, gas or anything else." 

The general manager of the city's Information Technology Agency estimates it would take five years to build the system. Building a broadband network that reaches every home and business could cost as much as $5 billion, but city officials hope a private company will pick up that tab.


Maven's Morning Coffee: Mayoral election in Long Beach, why South LA isn't in a Promise Zone, the race to replace Gloria Molina



The race is on to be mayor of Long Beach. A June runoff is expected.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, votes and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

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Today is Monday, April 7, and here is what's happening in Southern California politics:


In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, a review of donation limits, Mayor Eric Garcetti's State of the City address, and Councilman Bernard Parks' fight with a colleague.

KPCC and the Los Angeles Times look at tomorrow's election for mayor of Long Beach. "While Los Angeles County's second-largest city is confronting rising pension costs and a listless economy, the front-runners have focused largely on the bread-and-butter issues of jobs, restoring city services and attracting business," according to the Times. A June runoff is expected.


LA prepares to get two report cards this week

Garcetti Forum

Grant Slater/KPCC

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will give his first State of the City address on Thursday at the California Science Center.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will give his inaugural State of the City address on Thursday, but before that happens, the blue ribbon 2020 Commission will release its recommendations of what L.A. can do to be a prosperous city in the 21st century. 

One year ago, just before L.A. voters elected a new mayor, city council president Herb Wesson created the 2020 Commission to examine the city's financial status. He named former Commerce Secretary Mickey Kantor and former City of L.A. jobs czar Austin Beutner to lead the panel.

Earlier this year, the commission issued a report that painted a bleak picture of Los Angeles. The panel found there is crisis in leadership and direction in the city.

The report stated: "Government relies on the public trust to function. When such big gaps occur between what government tells us and reality, ordinary citizens lose their trust in democracy." 


Elections 2014: A wide-open field for Tuesday's mayoral election in Long Beach

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, Calif., exposes guests to the "urban ocean" in the country's biggest shipping terminal.

Kirk Siegler/NPR

A cruise run by the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach exposes guests to the "urban ocean" in the country's biggest shipping terminal, which includes the Port of Los Angeles.

Termed-out Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal is one of 10 candidates in Tuesday's election for mayor of Long Beach — the sixth largest city in the state, home to 462,000 people. Current city council members Gerrie Schipske and Robert Garcia are also running.

Long Beach City College trustee Doug Otto, an attorney and onetime planning commissioner, is also a candidate. He was part of a citizens group that did some of the early planning of Long Beach's tourist harbor.

Otto and Garcia received endorsements from the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Garcia, the city's current vice-mayor, was endorsed by the outgoing mayor, Bob Foster. 

RELATED: KPCC's coverage of the 2014 elections

Real estate businessman and former Secretary of State candidate Damon Dunn is running, too. Dunn attended Stanford and briefly played in the NFL.


In the Inland Empire, a Congressional candidate returns to her roots

Lesli Gooch for Congress/Facebook

Lesli Gooch appealed to potential voters this week at a meeting of Redlands Tea Party members.

Lesli Gooch voting

Lesli Gooch

Lesli Gooch, who is running for Congress in the Inland Empire, Tweeted this photo on March 25 with the message: "I was honored to show my support today and vote for @MikeMorrellGOP, our republican candidate, for #SD23"

When Republican Congressional candidate Lesli Gooch Tweeted her pride at voting in last week’s special state senate election in San Bernardino County, it was the first time she'd ever cast a ballot in the area that she hopes to represent in Washington.

According to county records, Gooch registered to vote March 7, the same day she filed papers to run in the 31st Congressional District to succeed her onetime boss, Rep. Gary Miler (R-Rancho Cucamonga).

Her Johnny-vote-lately status has drawn anonymous attacks on Twitter, but Gooch is on solid legal ground because candidates for Congress are not required to vote or live in the district where they are running.

“Democracy has no zip code,” Gooch said in response to a question about her brief history of voting in San Bernardino County. She was previously registered to vote in Alexandria, Virginia according to county Registrar records.